- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Colorado teen who helped stop a school shooting became a Marine last month.

Brendan Bialy was a student at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Denver when two shooters attacked his school in May.

As people were running away from the gunfire, Mr. Bialy and two classmates were able to disarm and apprehend one of the two shooters attacking the school.

Last month, Mr. Bialy graduated from Marine training and was promoted to private first class, according to Stars and Stripes.

“My thoughts on becoming a Marine were nothing but reinforced after the shooting,” he said in a statement. “What I saw that day was complete and total malevolence, bad overcome by good.”



Mr. Bialy jumped into action during the shooting when he saw his classmate, Kendrick Castillo, throw himself onto the shooter. Another classmate, Joshua Jones also joined in.

“I don’t like the idea of running and hiding,” Mr. Bialy told reporters at the time. “Everybody hopes what they’re going to do … what I did. I acted the way that I hoped [I would have] acted.”

Mr. Bialy was uninjured other than some scrapes on his knees, but Castillo was killed in the scuffle and Mr. Jones suffered two gunshot wounds. Eight other students were injured.

“Kendrick Castillo died a legend,” Mr. Bialy said. “I know he will be with me for the rest of my life.”

Staff Sgt. Marcus Chestnut — one of Bialy’s drill instructors — said his “quick reaction [and] willingness to fight” are exactly what the Marines are looking for, Stars and Stripes reported.

“I don’t think recruit training changed Bialy,” Sgt. Chestnut said. “He is who he was when he first got here. I think we just gave him some additional attributes that made him a stronger man and a basically trained Marine.”

The two shooting suspects — Devon Erickson, 18, and Alec McKinney, 16 — were apprehended and taken into custody.

The Associated Press reported the older suspect will be tried on more than 40 charges, including murder, while the younger, underage suspect will have a preliminary hearing on charges next month.

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